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Ch 19: The Origin of the Universe and Life on Earth

About This Chapter

Watch science video lessons and learn about background radiation, the Miller-Urey experiment, the Mesozoic era and more. These lessons are just a portion of our high school biology course materials.

The Origin of the Universe - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Use the video lessons in this chapter to familiarize yourself with theories explaining the formation of the Earth and moon, as well as the early stages of life at both the cellular and molecular levels. Find out where these events fall on the timeline of Earth's history and learn about galaxy types and stages in a star's life cycle. At the end of this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:

  • Evidence supporting the Big Bang theory
  • Characteristics of primitive Earth
  • Structure and life cycle of the sun
  • Evolutionary patterns and adaptation periods
  • Three major eons in Earth's history

Video Objective
Origins of The Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes Describes the Big Bang theory as a probable explanation for the formation of the universe.
The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations Depicts the four steps leading to early life on Earth, Oparin's hypothesis and the Miller-Urey experiment used to test it.
Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion Identifies evidence that supports the Big Bang theory, such as background radiation, red-shift and expansion.
Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies Describes the formation of elliptical, spiral and irregular types of galaxies, as well as proto-galaxies.
Formation of the Earth: Theories Explains the physical processes contributing to the formation of the Earth's layers, water, atmosphere and land.
Formation of the Moon: Theories Compares the capture, condensation, fission and giant impact theories used to describe the formation of the moon.
Structure of the Sun Identifies the layers of the sun and describes how the fusion process keeps the sun stable.
Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle Describes the life cycle of the sun from birth, to main sequence star, to white dwarf.
The Endosymbiosis Theory: Evolution of Cells Outlines the theory explaining the evolution of eukaryotic cells and discusses the differences between these cell types and prokaryotic cells.
Evolutionary Change: Definition and Forms Uses the concepts of catastrophism and gradualism to explain evolutionary patterns and adaptation periods.
The History of Life on Earth: Timeline and Characteristics of Major Eras Identifies and describes the characteristics of major eras, including the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras.

11 Lessons in Chapter 19: The Origin of the Universe and Life on Earth
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes

1. Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes

Students will learn the origins of the universe, the Big Bang theory, the timeline of the universe, how the universe is still expanding to this day, and what astronomers expect the universe to look like in the future.

The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations

2. The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations

Ever wonder how living things came from non-living things? We will explore what conditions on early Earth may have created life from non-living items.

Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion

3. Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion

Discover what evidence exists to support the Big Bang theory of the birth of the universe. Learn how cosmic background radiation, the red shift of light and the ongoing expansion of the universe led scientists to believe that the universe was started with the Big Bang.

Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies

4. Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies

This lesson explains how galaxies form, starting with the Big Bang. You'll also learn about the solar nebula hypothesis and three galaxy types, including spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies.

Formation of the Earth: Theories

5. Formation of the Earth: Theories

In this lesson, the theory of how the planet Earth formed will be discussed. This includes looking at how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.

Formation of the Moon: Theories

6. Formation of the Moon: Theories

Explore the four major theories on the formation of the Moon. The theories include the fission theory, capture theory, condensation theory and giant impact theory. Also look at both information supporting and flaws found in these theories.

Structure of the Sun

7. Structure of the Sun

Discover the layers of the sun, including the core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. Find out which layers you can see from Earth. Investigate what sunspots and solar flares are.

Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle

8. Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle

Discover our sun, the provider of energy for life on Earth. Learn how the sun was born, how it lives as a main sequence star, how it will age into a red giant and how it will die as a white dwarf.

The Endosymbiosis Theory: Evolution of Cells

9. The Endosymbiosis Theory: Evolution of Cells

Ever wonder why some cells are very simple and others are complex with countless organelles to remember? We will look at how simple cells evolved to become more complex cells - as well as evidence to support this.

Evolutionary Change: Definition and Forms

10. Evolutionary Change: Definition and Forms

You've probably heard of Charles Darwin and evolution. We know that evolution is change over time, but here we will look at how these changes may have occurred during Earth's history.

The History of Life on Earth: Timeline and Characteristics of Major Eras

11. The History of Life on Earth: Timeline and Characteristics of Major Eras

The Earth is over 4 billion years old. Ever wonder what happened during certain time periods in that large amount of time? We will look at the major eons and eras of Earth's history along with important characteristics of each.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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